Collection Policies



General Collection Guidelines
Collecting Codes

To support faculty research and instruction leading to undergraduate and Master's degrees in American, English, and world literature. To a lesser degree, the collection also supports the following emphases for the English degree: creative writing, journalism, professional writing, and areas of linguistics. Library support for the writing emphases is in the acquisition of criticism and of major literary works to serve as models and objects of study. Support for linguistics and journalism is shown in separate policy statements. The collection also provides the cultural background necessary to meet the General Education requirements and is used heavily by area educational institutions. Finally, it assists in supporting other curricula (e.g., Women's Studies, Humanities, Philosophy, Education).


Language: The language of collecting is almost entirely English, although some criticism of literature written in Western European languages (when not available in English) may be acquired selectively. English translations (which may include the original version) of important literary works in all languages will be collected to support the teaching of comparative literature. Editions in foreign languages will be collected by the Foreign Language Department or supported by funds from the World Literature Fund.

Chronological Guidelines: There are no chronological limits to the collection. All periods of literature through the present will be covered, and English translations of world literature from all ages will be added selectively.

Geographical Guidelines: Since this is primarily a collection to support the study of English-language literature, collecting will concentrate on the English-speaking countries; however, other national literatures will be represented by selected texts, histories, biographies, and criticism written in the English language or translated into English.

Treatment of Subject: The library collects the complete works, including all new editions, of the major writers who are part of the general curriculum. Obscure or more rarely studied writers are collected selectively. Literary biographies, histories, explication, and criticism published by university presses are almost always collected if they deal with the major periods and writers. Others are collected selectively. Anthologies and readers are acquired only when the material included is not already in the collection.

Histories of all national literatures should be collected, as well as criticism on major foreign writers. Bibliographies, both descriptive and critical, should be collected for the major writers and literatures. Critical bibliographies on all authors in the collection will also be added. Descriptive bibliographies on obscure writers are not collected.

Representative examples of studies on creative writing are collected. Manuals of style, guides to professional authorship and literary marketing, and works on the legal aspect of copyright are purchased selectively.

Type of Material: The collection is made up of print and electronic formats of monographs, serials, and other media. Hard-bound monographs are preferred whenever available. Electronic versions of many primary sources are increasingly available on the Internet and can be accessed from the Library's web site. A good collection of scholarly journals to cover all periods of literary history and all major writers is necessary for upper class, graduate and faculty research (n.b., "Project Muse" offers the electronic version of many scholarly journals in the humanities to supplement our print journals). Periodical indexes and abstracts and serial bibliographies are also necessary to access this material (e.g., MLA, AHCI, and other indexes are available electronically). A selection of recordings of poetry and drama readings will also be available. Microforms will be collected only in the rare cases when the printed material is not available, or if cost is a factor for larger collections.

Date of Publication: There are no limits on the publication dates of literature. Older or out-of-print editions are frequently desired, but rare or first editions are not specifically sought.

Other General Considerations:

key to collecting codes

Collection Level for English and American Literature:  The collection should, at the minimum, reach level 3 of collecting and, for some areas in which extensive research is practiced, it should come closer to level 2. Since the master's program prepares and supports many of our area high school and college teachers, a basic research collection is needed for them as well as for our own English faculty.

LC Class Subject Descriptors Collection Code
PN 1-4500 Literary History and Collections 3
PN 6010-6790 Collections of General Literature 3
PR 1-9680 English Literature 3-4
PS 1-3576 American Literature 3-4

PA 3051-8595 Greek and Latin Literatures 2a
PB 1201-3029 Celtic Literatures 1b
PC 601-872 Romanian Literature 1b
PC 3801-3976 Catalan Literature 1b
PF 1401-1541 Friesian Literature 1b
PG 1-9665 Slavic, Baltic, Albanian Literatures 1b
PH 1-5490 Finno-Ugrian, Basque Literatures 1b
PJ 1-9293 Oriental Literatures 2
PL 1-8844 Eastern Asian, African, Oceanian Literatures 2
PQ 1-9999 Romance Literatures (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese) 2-3
PT 1-9999 Germanic Literatures 2-3

June 1998
Bibliographer: Karen Vaughan